By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 27, 2009
House Republicans yesterday laid out the federal budget that they would propose if they controlled Congress, but they were mocked by Democrats for putting out a document with almost no details or precise figures.
Looking to rebut criticism from President Obama that the GOP is attacking him but not offering proposals of its own, Republican lawmakers released an 18-page outline of an alternative budget that proposes to cut overall government spending except for defense, ban additional spending for bailouts of financial companies, and cut the maximum income tax rate to 25 percent from the current rate of 36 percent.
"Two nights ago, the president said we haven't seen a budget yet out of the Republicans," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), waving a document titled "The Republican Road to Recovery." "Well, it's not true, because here it is, Mr. President."
Republicans said they will release actual numbers as an amendment to the budget next week when it comes to the House floor. But Democrats criticized their effort. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs joked that "it took me several minutes to read it."
"I think the administration is glad that the Republicans heard the president's call to submit an alternative," Gibbs said. "We just hope that next time it will contain actual numbers so somebody can evaluate what it means."
With Democrats in control of Congress, the House GOP budget has no chance of becoming law, and Senate Republicans rejected the idea of even offering an alternative budget but will instead offer amendments on the floor. House rules allow Democrats to limit the amendments offered, so Republicans in that chamber will offer only their complete budget alternative.
"Our economic plan amounts to less government, lower taxes and economic prosperity," the GOP document says.